Working on My Passion

fireman wishIn kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I thought that all girls were vets and all boys were firefighters. I knew that my mom and dad didn’t perform either of these jobs so it’s a bit confusing on how this notion came to exist.

In fourth grade when I realized that not all animals were as friendly as my cat, I decided that I would like to be a real estate agent. We watched a lot of HGTV in my home.

In the ninth grade my mom wouldn’t lend me the necessary capital to flip a house, so I decided to settle for being a teacher. I’ve never really want to be a teacher. I’m impatient. I already want this blog post to be finished with itself.

And now, after I’ve learned that flip flops are better suited for the beach than decision making, I am stuck having no solid idea of what I’d like to be “when I grow up”, which according to my impending college graduation date, will be in a few months.

I blame my lack of a career direction entirely on being too well-rounded of a person (it’s not a brag if it’s also a fact). I love history and anatomy and math and science and reading and music and health and theatre and technology and different cultures and writing and I’m always interested to hear what new information someone has to share on even the most foreign of topics. I have no specific topic that drives me to wake up in the morning, and even though I like any excuse to sleep in I can’t help but wishing that there were something more.

I don’t want just any ol’ job. I want the best job on the planet where I have to use that cheesy line about it “not being work” and everyone laughs but I glow on the inside knowing that it’s true and that I’m really quite happy where I am and that my life is contributing to something that I never want to leave. Also it should pay a million dollars an hour.

But where does one go to find one’s passion? I’ve been looking for a good part of my 21 years and haven’t found anything that I’d love to be involved with for the rest of my life. I’m an English and Communications double major because I like to read and I like to talk to people and because the university made me choose. I’m also involved in Terp Thon which helps the kids at Children’s National Medical Center, I loyally attend the UMD athletic events, and I’ve long been involved in sign language club and gardening. But to focus on solely one of those aspects? It wouldn’t be enough. Which leads me to believe that I haven’t found the one. The one passion that overcomes all other interests until it consumes my whole being with desire.

I know that it’s not realistic to expect such fulfillment from a job and that I’m quite spoiled to be in a position where I can afford to question what I truly want from my career, but when you’re spending the majority of your life working you don’t want to waste time with emotions of any lesser caliber than sheer joy.

I’m not willing to settle for any long-term career that I’m less than passionate about. And I’m certainly not willing to settle for any pay range less than that million dollars an hour.

So for now I’ll just have to keep searching and figure out how I can make room in my resume to express this sentiment.

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By Chance, Do You Have a Time Machine That I Could Borrow?

Almost three years ago today, I was crying; downright sobbing for my Mommy and Daddy to come and rescue me from this bad bad place, and hardly breathing for fear of the unknown and the change that was now undeniably upon me. Three years ago was my first day of college here at the University of Maryland.

And now, on this anniversary of my sob-fest, my eyes are once more glossing over with tears. Because I realize that these wonderful times at my university have almost come to an end. And there is nothing I can do to get those years back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I would give to return to freshman year and reassure myself that I would find a best friend in my roommate, despite her quirky way of singing Glee and her affinity for warm room temperatures. I would tell myself that it’s OK to step out of my comfort zone, because it’s the only way in the entire world to meet new people and define yourself. Also, you know how you’ve lost a significant amount of weight for the first time in your life? KEEP IT THAT WAY AT ALL COSTS, I HAVE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND YOUR FUTURE IS PIZZA! I would also tell freshman Katy that no one needs to study that hard for a freshman Bio class, the classes get harder, enjoy the easy ones while you’ve got em’.

IMG_0903Of course I would let sophomore-self in on some information too. I would strongly suggest making friends with the girl living next door, as she won’t be returning for a senior year. You know that job you’re considering taking at the ice cream stand? It’ll lead you towards great and silly friends, but for the love of all things UMD, don’t eat so much ice cream! (though kudos on slowing down with the pizza). Do something you bump on a log! Make an effort in more than your studies, don’t forget to live and smile and laugh and keep those tears hidden because you still miss your cat.

IMG_2058I don’t know if my present self would do so much talking junior year. The first semester, I may encourage past Katy to hit the gym every now and again, but mostly, I’d sit back and smile watching me discover my love of university soccer, find my passion for spreading awareness of domestic violence, get involved in the department of resident life and dining services, and create lasting and meaningful friendships. But I would definitely plant the idea of creating a stupendous and life-altering blog that has the possibility to reach out and touch the lives of hundreds of people, instead of scribbling on this snot rag of a journal.

[This time machine business is all assuming, of course, that if I went back in time I would find a way to reach out to my past self in a way that doesn’t interfear with the space-time continuum and cause catastrophic doom to myself and the planet as a whole. But, as I’ve passed Comm 400, I’m sure that I can manage time travel.]

As far as my last semesters go, I would absolutely love to take a trip into the future to see what awaits my senior year. Personally, I hope it involves being actively engaged in the campus community, constant exercise, a winning soccer team, a plan for my future career, a successful Terp Thon, and time spent hanging out with both old and new friends. Oh, and also good grades if I’ve got some free time on my hands.

Though, before I turn in my time machine, I’d like to take it for a spin back to my high school days to impart some wisdom onto teenage Katy. First words of wisdom, regarding that boy you’ve got a crush on…

A Balancing Act I Don’t Intend to Lose

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year until I am thrust out into the real world and must find a job in order to keep my head above water. I’ve got to study harder, work longer, and put a serious and immediate effort into my career search.

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year that I get to spend at the place where I’ve had the best experiences of my life. I’ve got to goof around with my friends while they’re a constant presence in my life, attend UMD activities and sporting events that I’ve grown to love, and take the time to enjoy my classes.

This summer I have two unpaid part-time internships. I love both of them and they are a brilliant and consuming feature of my day. With these internships I am securing a future for myself and fostering a self-sustainable lifestyle outside of school.

This summer I have friends that I’ve made plans with. All of these plans fall on the weekend where I can horseback ride, visit Hershey Park, act out in a murder mystery dinner, and reconnect and baseball games. With these activities I am placing an unmistakable value on friendship and my personal commitment to those close to me.

I feel like this summer is going to determine the course of my life, how things play out for my senior year and beyond. If I can find a way to balance personal relationships and work (a feat that not many can successfully accomplish) I know that nothing can stand in the way of my happiness. But if I let one side overtake the other (as has happened to me in the past), I won’t be happy with how things turn out.

I’m nervous to see how things will progress, but I’m hopeful that it will be in my favor.

beautiful quote about the future

P.S.   Where my healthy lifestyle fits into this is anyone’s guess. Feel free to listen to me gripe about it HERE.

Summer Strivings

list of goalsI love goals. And lists. And putting check marks next to the goals on my lists. So this summer I’ve decided to make note of the things that I’d like to accomplish.

I had tremendous success with this method over the past year, and know that if I want to see real results in my life and have a good time achieving them, I need to write them down and frequently revisit them.

Here are the things that I’ve decided I’d like to focus on:

  • Spend time with my family and boyfriend
  • Make time for fitness
  • Perform well at my internships
  • Remain relatively stress free
  • Eat moderately
  • Visit friends from back home
  • Stay in touch with friends from college
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Volunteer
  • Spend money carefully
  • Just keep running
  • Stay motivated

While I do intend to do things like visit Hershey Park, I want to make sure that I’m taking care of myself on the personal level first, and I think it starts by attending to these main goals. A lot of my goals have to deal with my health, but I think that it’s important to focus on it while I won’t have the overwhelming influence of work and school in my life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I intend for weight loss/exercise/maintaining a healthy lifestyle to take up a good portion of my summer, I think it’d only be fair to devote a whole new blog to the topic. I have a clear focus with Living the Life and don’t want to diverge from all around well living by focusing too heavily on health. So, I’ve begun a new blog called Happiness Through Health that I’m going to be posting to as well. Feel free to check it out or completely ignore this information.

Junior Year, A Life in Summation

Wow. Life moves quickly. Not only am I unsure how I’ve already reached the end of my junior year of college, I’m also confused as to where my sophomore and freshman year went.

At the beginning of this year (one roommate, a new major, and countless hikes across campus ago) I was coming off a pretty rough time. I hadn’t really found a niche for myself in college (which was all too familiar to my high school experience) and I spent more time traveling home than livin’ it up college style.

My goal for this year was simple; say yes to life. And looking back on my time now, I can truthfully say that I said yes and experienced much of what college life had to offer (while still focusing on my studies)

Some of my experiences include:

  • Participating in Terp Thon and raising money for Children’s National Medical Center374409_4651322164662_876425834_n
  • Hosting Manicure Movie Monday in our lounge
  • Starting a job at UMD Dining Services and meeting some of my best friends
  • Taking more pictures than I will ever need
  • Throwing paint around with friends and strangers at HoliDSCN0474
  • Becoming a part of Sign Language Club and visiting Gallaudet University
  • Going on a dinner cruise at the Inner Harbor
  • Partaking in a murder mystery dinner and successfully avoiding accusations
  • Attending all of the movie nights and randomly themed UMD events
  • Listened to the Dalai Lama give a lecture on peace
  • Gaining an insane amount of weight from not watching my health and then working it all off522422_10200226503339411_1759804122_n
  • Participating in an Alternative Spring Break and becoming an advocate for domestic violence victims
  • Making an effort to hang out with friends and get in touch with people
  • Running my first 5K to benefit Yeardly LoveIMG_1931
  • Attending all of the UMD men’s soccer games and becoming part of the Crew
  • Crossing two items off of my bucket list (dying my hair red and attending a concert)
  • Receiving 12 free UMD t-shirts
  • Cheering my football team onto a Super Bowl victory
  • STARTED A BLOG!

Holy cow I’ve done a lot. I know I’ve missed listing a ton more activities, but I’m just grateful that I’ll have this blog to look back so that I can relive all of these wonderful experiences.

Also, don’t expect much from me this summer, because I’m pretty sure it’ll take me up until September to recover from my junior year.

Lessons from the Lama

DSCN0608This past Tuesday, the University of Maryland hosted the Sadat Lecture for Peace, featuring His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

I jumped at the chance to miss my morning classes and to eternally brag that I had heard the Dalai Lama speak live. Yet, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from this lecture. Moral ramblings from an outdated source? Spiritual musings the likes of which the world has never seen?

After trekking across a rain sodden campus and patiently waiting amongst the masses in line, I took my seat in Comcast Center (our indoor arena) and decided that I was thoroughly unenthused. This man has probably lectured thousands upon thousands of times, and I didn’t think there was much that he could bring to the table in the ways of relating peace and love to the world. We get it, peace is peaceful, love is lovely.

DSCN0624

Once the Dalai Lama entered the stage, the whole stadium rose to their feet, applauding and cheering for the adorable old man who stood tall in his red robe. I recognized that unlike most modern celebrities, this man had truly earned his fame, and I clapped with as much enthusiasm and rigor as those around me. I was in the presence of a clearly meaningful human being, I needed to appreciate this.

From that initial encounter on, I was completely captivated by what His Holiness had to say regarding life, love, and the lot:

  • DSCN0635Don’t trust material valuables for inner happiness, they will only disappoint you
  • Real value and beauty is within us and our genuine smiles
  • Trust is key for friendships between all
  • Dialogue is the only way to overcome violence
  • We all have the same potential, the same goal. And this makes it possible for genuine harmony between people who differ
  • Think more

Obviously I paraphrased a good deal of what he said, and obviously I could never convey the tone or true power behind his words, but these things that are seen as common sense, really need to be taken to heart and utilized for the creation of a better world.

Not only did the Dalai Lama give a remarkable lecture on the state of society’s spirit, but he also graced us with his sense of humor. Every so often he would tell an amusing story, place a UMD visor on his head, or snuggle up on the comfy lounge chair he was sitting in. This man’s smile brought about my laughter in a completely innocent and genuine way. To hold such a high position and still make jokes about the bright spotlights, I was in the presence of true happiness, and it brought laughter to my heart and joy to my soul.

DSCN0618Thank goodness I attended this lecture; I needed a reminder about how magnificent life can be when you approach it with beauty and positivity. Thank goodness I opened my heart to his message of tolerance and peace, to recognize the unity of humanity. And thank goodness I am living, and free to acknowledge these wonderful conditions for the rest of my life.

Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow

It’s been a rainy couple of days here in Maryland, but am I letting that deter my spirit? No way!

Despite my sopping shoes, frizzy hair, and grumpy demeanour, I’m looking forward to the aftereffects of this precipitation.

ImageAlready the grass is looking greener than I remember it ever being and the flowers are starting to show their full range of color. After such a long winter I’m extremely grateful for this chance to appreciate the beauty all around me, even if I have to look at it while peeping out from beneath a polka dotted umbrella.

ImageEveryone should recognize that even in perceivably miserable situations, there is happiness and charm to be found if you have the right perspective. And that perspective is easy to take once you look at the vibrant petals of a nearby flower.

If Gene Kelly had some natural scenery to look at, I think he’d be even jollier!

And I have to add this as a shout out to those who understand my title reference. Despite the lack of flowers and the heartbreaking pain of lost love expressed in this song, it’s an absolutely treasure.

A Very Potter Sequel

Somehow, I’ve found myself attending a lot of theatrical productions this semester. But, my soul had not been thoroughly and irrevocably moved until I went to StarTerp’s production of A Very Potter Sequel.

I’ll provide some background on this likely foreign concept first. StarKid, a theater company formed at the University of Michigan, originally decided to parody Harry Potter by creating A Very Potter Musical. The whole show can be found on YouTube and a good three weeks of my life was spent (but not wasted) watching the whole performance with my friend, Caroline. It was the first time I truly understood what it is to love.

There’s just something about these adorable and raunchy kids that transforms Harry Potter into something outrageous, hilarious, and utterly brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, the series is beautifully transcribed by JK Rowling, but the critical perspectives and adult humor StarKid uses to create the play is what makes it truly magical (you can roll  your eyes all you like, but I’m keeping that word)

StarKid later went on to create two more shows, both equally beautiful and capable of inspiring many groups to copy their performances, which is exactly what the University of Maryland’s theater team, StarTerp, decided to do.

Our show was life affirming. I’ve been a Harry Potter fan since the 6th grade and I’ve never stopped caring about the plight of Harry and his friends. This show compliments all I’ve ever known or dreamed about related to Harry Potter and my life has been improved because of witnessing it being performed live. (Also I got to meet Ron and we’re Facebook friends now!)

DSCN0511

The StarTerp production is in the process of being put on YouTube, but here is a clip from AVPM done last year:

I just can’t express what a joy it was to watch this movie and share the experience with my friends. You need to find something you love from this world and never let it go. Even if it’s something as perceivedly pointless and silly as Harry Potter, if you really care about it and it makes you smile, don’t sacrifice it for anything.

Here are some of my pictures from the show:

Song: Harry Freakin' Potter

Song: Harry Freakin’ Potter

Scene: Draco stands up to his Father

Scene: Draco stands up to his Father

Song: Gettin' Along

Song: Gettin’ Along

Scene: Final Gathering

Scene: Final Gathering

The Reader

This describes my experience with blogging quite perfectly. I may not be the most articulate writer, or speak to the most profound and moving subjects, but I enjoy writing and don’t want to keep that passion all to myself.

If all my readers get out of my blog is “That girl is all over the place…” then my mission will have been accomplished, because at least it was read, at least it was acknowledged, and only then can it have the potential to be worthwhile.